Taking Stock of the Madness
Let's start with the bad news. Nintendo seems to have had a premature megatonnage. Those who follow the regular Nintendo Direct presentations were bound to be disappointed by this E3. Most of the titles on display were announced in earlier Nintendo Direct presentations.
That means two things though: First, E3 is loosing its relevance with Nintendo. I think this is a good thing. Nintendo no longer needs E3 to get its message out. Much like Apple no longer needed Macworld Expos to get their message out and ditched them.
Second: This means we no longer have to wait for a specific event to have Iwata's bombs dropped. The megatonnage could come at any time on any Nintendo Direct. I think this makes the presentations far more valuable and exciting for fans.
I think instead of fervent Nintendo fans focusing on the relative blasé of E3, they should realize that E3 is really no longer for them. It's for people who don't watch Nintendo Directs: casual gamers.
Most of the surprises of E3 were hardly surprises, but still had kernels of delight for the Nintendo faithful. The games themselves weren't much of a surprise, but if you rub the surface a little, the delight is right there to see. I'll list the surprises and in parentheses, the kernels:
- Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS (Villager, Megaman, and Wii Fit Trainer as new challengers!)
- Super Mario 3D World (Frog suit makes a return along with the new adorable cat suit!)
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Dynamic camera with SMB2 mechanics and HD visuals)
- Mario Kart 8 (Anti-Gravity karts and tracks and stunning visuals)
Don't let the disappointment of the lack of Metroid, StarFox, or (insert franchise/new ip here) get you down. There is plenty coming and it will delight casual players and fans alike.
You might remember a post I wrote a while back that explained why we love Iwata and Reggie. At E3, Miyamoto San was at his best. Energetic, playful, and open minded, he not only gave us the meme gem below:
But also this:
And he admired the work of rivals:
We love you Miyamoto San. Never change.
As a footnote to this year's E3, lets not let pass the fact that Microsoft was attacked on all sides for its draconian, anti-customer, and unnessesary DRM built into the new Xbox One. The new console was served at least a few black eyes by not only gamers, but the internet, Sony, and not one, but two higher ups at Nintendo.
Reggie explained that the reason Nintendo doesn't need extra DRM for its games is because THEY MAKE GOOD GAMES. Telling a reporter:
"Certainly, [used games impact] games that are annualised and candidly also impacts games that are maybe undifferentiated much more than [it] impacts Nintendo content.Why is that? Because the replayability of our content is super strong. The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer want to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin. So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average - much, much less.We have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games."
Insane, huh? Make money by making good games!
But our very own resident genius, Miyamoto San, had something to say too:
"What's really important is viewing Nintendo almost like a toy company where we're making these things for people to play with. As a consumer you want to be able to keep those things for a long time and have those things from your youth that you can go back to and experience again.I really want to retain that product nature of the games that we create so that people can do that and have that experience. To me that's something that's very important about entertainment itself. So from the approach of continuing to create things that are entertaining for people, that's an important direction for me that I want to maintain."
What a great analogy! I really don't see Microsoft having the success of the Xbox 360 with the Xbone. But you never know how things will shift. People have become conditioned to accept the unacceptable in the last decade or so.
And so ends another year of E3 goodness. I didn't cover all of the goings-on of E3, so for further information, you can still go to e3.nintendo.com for more information. What are your thoughts after a night or two to sleep on all of the flood of information?